Succulents originally came from dry, arid areas such as deserts. Some succulents, such as Orchids, do get rainfall, but they grow in branches or areas where the rain might not reach them so easily. Many succulents come from Africa and the other regions with long dry seasons and where plants have evolved ways of more effectively and efficiently storing and using water.
Succulents have been around for a long time, of course, and have been used as office plants and in indoor gardens for long time. However, in recent years their popularity seems to have grown. The reasons for this are many:
They are low maintenance. Succulents require less watering and little to no pruning.
They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. This includes very tiny plants in small pots that can easily find a home on a desk.
They attract fewer pests. Many times plants bring about pests because of the constant need for watering. When you do not have to water the plants as much, such as succulents, pests' risk reduces dramatically. The thick, waxy leaves of succulents are also more difficult for pests to penetrate and feed through.
They are easier for greenhouses and stores to sell. Since they can last a very long time without water, they can sit on a truck for days, making transportation easier. Many succulents are very small, which allows growers to ship large numbers with lower freight costs. Some can even be packed in plastic bags and shipped across the country. They can also be stored at the garden center much longer and last longer.
It is very difficult for most to overgrow. One of the problems with some common indoor plants, like Pothos, is that they grow and eventually start to vine. This requires lots of maintenance and can be an inconvenience.
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